NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Will Mark Sanchez be a Jet in 2014?
Many would argue that it’s doubtful, as the 27-year-old — who started for Gang Green from 2009-2012 — is due a $2 million bonus in March and brings a $13.1 million cap charge.
That and the fact that he didn’t play a snap last season after suffering a shoulder injury in the preseason and subsequently undergoing shoulder surgery.
But before you assume that the former first-round pick will be cut, remember that head coach Rex Ryan is a big fan of Sanchez.
You remember that tattoo, right?
“Let’s just let it play out,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday at the NFL Combine. “I always want guys back … (Would) I want him back? Absolutely. Would I want all my guys back? You guys know my answer. You know how I feel about my players. That’s just the way it is.”
If the Jets do bring Sanchez back, he’d likely have to take a pay cut after missing 2013 and being relegated to backup duty.
“When people bleed for you, it’s hard not to be loyal to those players,” Ryan, who epitomizes a players’ coach, said. “But I also understand the most important thing is ‘what’s the best thing for the football team.’ Obviously I feel loyalty and compassion for anybody that’s ever played for me.”
Geno Smith, who had an up-and-down rookie season, is expected to be New York’s starting quarterback in 2014. He finished the campaign strong, leaving a good taste in fans’ mouths, but there’s still a possibility that general manager John Idzik could sign or trade for a quarterback or select one in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft.
As we’ve gotten used to, Idzik didn’t let on what his future plans are for the position.
“We don’t anoint starters in February,” Idzik said. “We don’t anoint them in March.”
The second-round pick completed 55.8 percent of his passes and threw for 2,883 yards in 2013. He threw 12 touchdown passes and rushed for another, but had an alarming 21 interceptions and seven fumbles.
As for Sanchez, Idzik believes that the embattled signal-caller still has what it takes to be a starter in the NFL.
“We know Mark Sanchez,” Idzik said. “He’s been a productive player in this league. He’s been a productive starter in this league. We know how he works. We know he’s going to pour everything into his rehabilitation. We know how he’s going to be ambitious in his career. So what would lead you to believe that he wouldn’t? That’s who Mark is. He’s a competitor. He’s done it before.”
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